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Chile's Montes Winery to Release New Syrah, Build New Winery


James Molesworth
Posted: August 1, 2001

Viña Montes, which produces one of Chile's most consistent lineups of wines, plans to broaden its range even further. Winemaker Aurelio Montes will release a new high-end Syrah, called Folly, in January.

The winery is sourcing the Syrah from its Apalta vineyard, in the Santa Cruz Valley, which also provides the grapes for its high-end Alpha M Cabernet-based blend. The grapes for Folly come from the higher-elevation portion of the vineyard, where the slope is so steep that the grapes must be harvested by hand and brought down in baskets by rope -- similar to the famed Rhône appellation of Côte-Rôtie. The name Folly was chosen because of the difficulty in planting the vineyard and the precarious nature of the harvesting.

Folly will debut with the 2000 vintage, of which approximately 500 cases were produced. The heady wine checks in at over 14 percent alcohol and was aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels. Made from 100 percent Syrah, it is expected to retail for about $70 per bottle.

Aurelio Montes currently produces another Syrah for the winery's mid-level Alpha line from grapes grown in the lower portion of the Alpalta vineyard. The wine debuted with the 1999 vintage, which contains 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon; it scored 87 points on Wine Spectator's 100-point scale when reviewed earlier this year.

Viña Montes has also begun construction on a new winery facility in La Apalta that will be used for the Folly, Alpha line and Alpha M Cabernet. Construction is expected to be completed in the next two to four years, though wine is being produced there already. Montes' basic varietal line will continue to be produced at its facility in Curicó.

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Check our past ratings of Montes wines.

Read more about Montes:

  • May 13, 1999
    New Wines Show Off Quality of Chile's Emerging Apalta Region

  • Feb. 20, 1998
    Chile's Most Expensive Wine Released by Montes Winery

    Read James Molesworth's recent tasting reports on Chilean wines:

  • March 31, 2001
    Coming of Age in South America

  • March 31, 2000
    South America's Peaks and Valleys .
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